Ever since Ben Stokes has taken over as the captain of the Three Lions, it feels like they can even walk on water. The combination of Stokes and Brendon McCullum are definitely on the path of not just changing England’s fortunes in the red-ball format but also the general health of red-ball format itself.
One of the integral parts of that path could be the 23-year-old Harry Brook, who has come into his own over the past 12 months. Being just one Test old, the game Brook displayed against Pakistan in the Rawalpindi Test was threatening, with 240 runs in the Test with a strike-rate of 132.59.
Brook opened up on England’s approach, saying that the confidence in the dressing room is such that one feels like he can do anything. Brook also insisted that the confidence stems from up, with skipper Stokes too showing his attacking intent in the longest format of the game.
"It feels like you can go out and do whatever you want. If I want to reverse sweep first ball, I have licence almost. You feel like you can do anything," Brook told Sky Sports.
"The captain is leading from the front. His first innings was unbelievable. He only got 41 but he scored at a strike-rate of 227. If we didn't bat like we did in that first innings, we would have had no chance of winning the game,” he added.
"How the boys have taken things on has been exceptional. To have the confidence from everyone around you in the changing room, the coach especially, makes it so much easier."
Brook made his international debut earlier in the year, against West Indies and ever since then, has only grown in stature. Whilst he walked in to fill the void in the English white-ball team, he has ever since cemented his place as a sure-shot starter in England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign.
"I haven't got many words, to be honest. It's been an exceptional month and one I will look back on forever, probably the highlight for the rest of my career and life. I didn't think it would go as smoothly as it has and that in my first year for England I would be a World Cup champion but I have always had the inner confidence that I would play for England,” Brook looks back.
The recent phenomenon has suggested that more and more upcoming players could ignore the longest format, in order to focus on the shorter formats of the game. But Brook is keen to stick with the old cricket order, and insisted that Test cricket is still the best format.
"I think in the future we are going to see more people at a younger age sack off red-ball cricket - I reckon there are going to be a lot of white-ball contracts soon. I am probably not going to be one of them. I still think Test cricket is the best format.
Brook also suggested that the hype around T20 cricket has been such, that Test cricket could be ignored by the players, just to solely focus on the white-ball formats. Will Smeed became the first such player to give up a red-ball career, to focus on T20s. Brook though insists that Test cricket is the pinnacle, and will strive to play it as long as possible.
"There is so much hype around T20 and so many leagues that you could quite easily, if you are good enough, get rid of red-ball and play every league in the world. You can understand why people do it, there is so much money, but I enjoy all formats. I still think Test cricket is the pinnacle and I am still striving to play it as long as possible.”